The Legendary Recording Story Of “Achilles Last Stand” By Led Zeppelin

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The Thing About Achilles Last Stand


The song itself was very stylistic that influenced a truckload of musicians. The signature fast rhythm paved the way for New Wave of British Heavy Metal”, who then influenced the guys from Northern California – the speed metal. The song itself has a lot of things in it. It bridged the gap between progressive rock and the primitive boogie-based hard rock.

The time when the band was recording Achilles Last Stand was dealing with personal issues, and at the time as well, Robert Plant and his wife were both seriously injured due to a car accident. The life of as a rock star was definitely taking a toll, and yet, the band managed to crank out a brilliant and legendary song, and this, of course, reflected their troubled rock star lives.

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To top it all off, Achilles Last Stand was executed flawlessly, Robert Plant recorded it in a wheelchair with a vocals convincingly let you know that injuries aside, he can still throw it off heroically, and John Bonham created such a galloping, triplet-inflected feature drumbeat, the march segments, and the rather amazing “at last the birds have flown” fill as evidence of his best performance. John Paul Jones, on the other hand,  fills things in with some off-balanced bass riffing. And, of course, Jimmy Page guitar playing, as only he could, solo wails like there is no tomorrow.

The song also features the best fade-ins and fade-outs ever.

‘The greatest rock song of all time’ doesn’t mean anything, however, Achilles Last Stand relies on a defined notion of ‘greatness.’ Bonham is drumming in another dimension, Page is unreal, John Paul Jones’ regular 3-note insistent riffy steady grab-pull, helps to define its greatness and Robert Plant vocals can really strangle the breath of life of every Led Zeppelin fans.

Don’t believe me? Listen to it for yourself.

Keep going for the video below: